eaths vs Demafelis killers may not prompt Duterte to lift deployment ban in Kuwait: official
President Rodrigo Duterte might not lift the total deployment ban of overseas Filipino workers to Kuwait despite a death sentence by the Kuwaiti government against suspects in the murder of a Filipina household helper.
In a press briefing on Monday, Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Menardo Guevarra said the decision of a Kuwaiti court to mete out the death sentence to Joana Demafelis' former employers was for that particular case.
"We have to think about the others who are similarly situated," he said.
Principal suspect Lebanese Nader Essam Assaf and his Syrian wife Mouna Hassoun were tried in absentia. They were detained in Lebanon and Syria, respectively, the Department of Foreign Affairs said.
While the government welcomed the death sentence against the prime suspects in Demafelis case, Guevarra said the total ban of sending OFWs to Kuwait remains as the Philippine government is still working on an agreement with the Gulf state for further protection of Filipino workers there.
"But of course an agreement, a memorandum of understanding is being formulated and hopefully the parties will?the state parties will come to terms as to how our OFWs in Kuwait as well as in other Middle Eastern countries will be protected. So, basically that will be a solution to this ban, this total ban about sending OFWs to Kuwait," he said.
"I think it’s still the agreement between the two countries on the manner of treating our OFWs that will matters, not the matter of the couple being brought to justice," Guevarra added.
Duterte ordered the total deployment ban of OFWs to Kuwait following Demafelis' death.
Her remains were found inside a freezer in an abandoned apartment in Kuwait last February after about one year since she was reported missing.
Duterte became angry because of alleged suicide incidents of some OFWs after they reportedly suffered abuses and maltreatment from employers in Kuwait. Celerina Monte/DMS